By T. Tsiros
A huge chunk of bailout loan money earmarked for Greece, as part of the ongoing third program, is not expected to be disbursed by Aug. 20, 2018, when the latter officially expires.
The fate of 27.4 billion euros in credit remaining on the European Stability Mechanism’s (ESM) “shelves” is another matter that must be resolved in the nine months remaining until the third bailout ends.
Out of the 86-billion-euro credit line extended by institutional creditors back in August 2015, 40.2 billion euros has been disbursed so far, including a tranche of 800 million euros released on Oct. 30, 2017 to cover the Greek state’s arrears to the private sector.
Another 18.4 billion euros is set for disbursement into Greek state coffers after conclusion of the third review of the program, with a January 2018 Eurogroup session now figuring as the unofficial deadline, and the fourth and last review.
The fourth review has an unofficial deadline of June 2018.
After Aug. 20, 2018 the ESM cannot disburse any more bailout money to Greece, at least not within the framework of the third memorandum.
Only the existence of a fourth bailout memorandum would allow for the loan money to be funneled to Athens, although such a prospect is politically abhorrent to both the beleaguered Tsipras government and to European creditors and partners.